Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Desert hotels, the saguaro - Section 2: Explore


Since my students live in the sonoran desert, seeing cacti, especially saguaros, is common for them. Most of them pay little to no attention to the fauna around us, that is why I found it so important to bring it to their attention, especially the saguaro because it is such a versatile plant and provides homes to many desert animals.

I did not want to just tell the kids how the saguaro provides homes for the animals as well as serves other purposes for them; I wanted them to rationalize through it by asking layered probing questions.

It took a little longer than anticipated, but it paid off! The kids were finally able to collectively figure out that Gila woodpeckers initially dig into the saguaro and when they move out, other animals move in, just like a hotel. They were also able to analyze what they knew about the saguaro to come to the conclusion that some animals use the plant to roost and hunt small animals on the ground. This lesson was a remarkable experience for the kids.

  Asking probing questions
  Discourse and Questioning: Asking probing questions
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Desert hotels, the saguaro

Unit 6: What's your habitat?
Lesson 8 of 8

Objective: SWBAT how the saguaro cactus is a suitable habitat for many desert animals by hearing a story and making a cactus hotel.

Big Idea: Kids often think that birds and small animals only live in trees. This lesson opens their minds to the idea that trees are not the only suitable habitat for birds and small animals.

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